DAILY NEWS: Ripstein's NYC Debuts; "Divided" Wins Big; Aspen Fest Plans
by Eugene Hernandez, Anthony Kaufman and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> Ripstein's DV Doublebill Receives US Premiere
(indieWIRE/03.07.01) -- "When filmmakers get old, they either die or go
digital," joked veteran Mexican director Arturo Ripstein at the 2000 Cannes
Film Festival where his 29th movie "Asi es la vida" ("Such is Life"), a
contemporary adaptation of "Medea" that was shot on digital video,
premiered. Ripstein has swiftly followed up "Life" with another DV feature,
"La perdición de los hombres" ("The Ruination of Men"), a black comedy about men, women, and baseball. So far passed up by U.S. distributors, both
critically lauded films will receive their U.S. premieres this Thursday and
Friday at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
At 57, Ripstein is one of the elder filmmakers to take on the DV banner
(along with Agnes Varda, 72, and Eric Rohmer, 80) and the switch seems to
have been reinvigorating. Variety's Leonardo Garcia Tsao called "Life"
"nothing less than a masterpiece" and the film received a special jury and
FIPRESCI prize at last December's Havana Film Festival. "The Ruination of
Men" won awards for best film, best screenplay and the FIPRESCI critics
prize at the 2000 San Sebastian Film Festival. Ripstein hasn't received this
many accolades since 1993's "The Beginning and the End," which swept
Mexico's 1994 Ariels with 7 awards, and took top honors at the San Sebastian
and Havana Film Festivals.
A protégé of Luis Bunuel, Ripstein first garnered international acclaim at the age of 22, with his 1965 adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel, "Tiempo de Morir" ("A Time to Die"). Since then, he has won five of Mexico's
best picture awards, screened in competition at Cannes three times, and
remains one of the country's most acclaimed auteurs. And yet, as he said at
Cannes about going the digital video route, "It is not only the discovery of
a new medium with new possibilities; . . . [shooting DV] will be the
difference between making a movie or not making it at all." [Anthony
[For screening times or more information on MoMA's programming, visit:
>> Oscar Nominee "Divided We Fall" Nabs 5 Top Czech Lion Awards
(indieWIRE/03.07.01) -- "Divided We Fall," an Oscar nominee from the Czech Republic," was the big winner back home, nabbing the top Czech Lion Awards, according to Screen Daily. The film, which will be released by Sony Pictures
Classics, won the prize for best film, the best director award for filmmaker
Jan Hrebejk, the best script prize for Petr Jarchovsky, the best actress
award for Anna Siskova, and the best actor award for Boleslav Polivka.
The Academy Award nomination for the movie marks the Czech Republic's
second, following the Foreign Language Film win for "Kolya" back in 1996.
>> Aspen Shortsfest Celebrates a Decade with Waters
(indieWIRE/ 03.07.01) -- Known as a prime event to showcase short film, the
Aspen Shortsfest is set to unspool April 10th through the 14th, offering
dozens of comedies, dramas, and animation. This year, the Festival will
celebrate its 10th edition on its closing night with director John Waters
("Pink Flamingos," "Polyester," "Cecil B. DeMented") as host of an evening of stories, film anecdotes and personal commentary on film and American
"John Waters was an independent long before the word became part of the
lexicon, much less fashionable," said Executive Director Laura Thielen in a
prepared statement. "Waters has embraced extremes and endured. You can't
say that about too many filmmakers, 'mainstream' or otherwise."
The competition itself will offer $20,000 in cash prizes. Additionally,
the event will host retrospective screenings, free panels, and workshops.
Animation figures prominently this year with the World Premiere of John
Serpentelli's "Kid Toon Fest," described as, "animation created by kids for
kids." Serpentelli, who's work includes projects with Nickelodeon and
"Sesame Street," will give first-hand demonstrations for "animators of all
ages" following his screening. The Festival's Director Spotlight will honor
the computer animators behind Richard Linklater's "Waking Life," Bob
Sabiston and Tommy Pallotta. Both will offer a retrospective of their work
and a look at their breakthrough software.
The complete line up for the Aspen Shortsfest will be available March 26 at
www.aspenshortsfest.org. [Brian Brooks]